Whether you are a buy-to-let investor, architect, or the CEO of a construction company, turning toward “green building” and coming up with unusual housing solutions as opposed to pouring more concrete is a surefire way to ride the 2019 real estate wave and rein in both the profits and spectacular reviews.
And what is the green wave in question? What are the new requirements being imposed upon the property markets both in the UK and all around the world? We did a little predictive research and came up with a few key points. Read on to see what they are!
Pick up your pace on the green retrofitting race
One of the most hyped new trends, perhaps even the one given the most attention, is the idea of “green retrofitting”. To put it in simple words, green retrofitting means upgrading or renovating a given building with materials and features that are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
You can get some more information about this concept and its implementation here on this page!
Over the past several years, the green retrofitting trend has firmly established a place for itself in the commercial and business sectors, and now the investors have got their eye set on the market for residential properties as well.
Understand the rapid changes in expectations
Ecologically appropriate materials and installations are all the rage in modern day, with people who are looking to buy real estate or invest in a property much more likely to stop and consider a home or building that features, for example, solar panels as their main source of electric power, as opposed to depending upon the local thermal power station.
Moreover, potential home buyers tend to want home improvements which are geared towards lowering the home’s overall energy costs, while not substantially raising the upfront costs. Considering that average household energy costs are on a steady rise in our industrial, digital, electric, heavily computer-dependent and appliance-dependent society, experts predict that, in as soon as a decade, homes which are not optimized for energy efficiency will become completely redundant.
With the world in general increasingly turning towards more environmentally friendly living solutions, real estate experts like Thirlmere Deacon Property Investment and innumerable others are stepping into 2019 with plans to accommodate this new and rapidly proliferating mindset.
Know what the new most desired features are
Features that have been proven to raise the value of a property include water-saving plumbing systems, appliances and electronics that bear the Energy Star label, photovoltaic energy systems and water heating systems, energy-efficient windows which reduce or eliminate the dissipation of heat, and highly efficient insulation solutions.
Other features and installations to consider are the ability to efficiently recycle, a renewable source (typically solar power) as the main household energy provider, a system for filtering and re-using the household “waste water” (e.g. from the kitchen), an eco-friendly solution for the disposal of bio-waste, and natural light instead of artificial illumination.
Look out for properties that have A-rank EPCs
Whenever a property is built, rented, or sold, there is always that one thing you absolutely have to have among your relevant documents: the Energy Performance Certificate, typically abbreviated to the EPC. Before a property is placed on the market to rent or sell, an EPC must be ordered to be available to potential tenants or buyers. See this link to learn more about them.
So, why should it matter to you as an investor? Simply, because of all the aforementioned eager questing for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient homes. An Energy Performance Certificate neatly displays all relevant information about the energy use of a given property and its average energy costs.
It will also feature some recommendations on how to save that money by optimizing the energy use, but keep in mind that these tend to vary, because they directly depend on the particular inspection standards that your inspector will apply. Typically, an EPC is valid for a period of ten years.
The energy efficiency of a home is rated on an alphabetical scale from A to G-level, with an A being the most energy efficient, and a G the least. A property that was sorted into the A category will have the lowest fuel bills – a point that is certain to appeal to the new tenants or owners.
Moreover, the same A to G scale is used to determine and quantify the impact that the given home has on the environment through CO2 emissions.
This is especially critical for all those who target the market groups of young professionals, college students, young entrepreneurs, and the like. These groups are showing a steady increase in their rising environmental awareness and a desire for simpler, cleaner, and more sustainable living.